Priorities of the People: Hardship in the Marshall Islands

Publication | March 2003
Priorities of the People: Hardship in the Marshall Islands

In the Marshall Islands, many people are facing hardship, and the problem seems to be getting worse. Two thirds of outer-islanders live on less than $1 a day, while social conditions on Majuro and Ebeye are declining.

The government recognizes that it needs to better understand the nature of hardship in the country and develop ways to address it. So in 2002, the government led a 'Participatory Assessment on Hardship' to find out the needs, views, and hopes of communities living throughout the country, especially the disadvantaged and poor themselves.

Ten sample communities were selected to represent both rural and urban areas and differing levels of access to services. One-on-one interviews, small group discussions, questionnaires, and case studies were used during the assessment to gather information from people in these communities, and discussions were held with government representatives and social, religious, and nongovernment organizations. The assessment was funded by the Asian Development Bank.


  • Introduction
  • Is Hardship Really a Problem in the Marshall Islands?
  • What is Hardship?
  • Who is Facing Hardship?
  • What Causes Hardship?
  • What Can Be Done?